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Aldermen vote to issue TIF Bond

Poplarville’s Board of Aldermen voted to issue Tax Increment Financing Bonds during Tuesday’s meeting.

The TIF Bonds will be paid for a 10-year term with a 5.5 interest rate, a principal of $595,000 and accrued interest of $194,150. With the principal and interest the bonds will cost the city $789,150. The bonds will be paid using sales tax revenue generated by the College Square shopping center.

Board member Shirley Wiltshire made the motion to issue the bonds. Anne Smith seconded the motion, although she seemed hesitant to do so, saying “Oh God, oh my God,” before making her second. Board member Kevin Tillman abstained, while the other three Board members voted in favor of issuing the bonds.

The bonds are to reimburse the developer for some of the expense in the construction of the College Square Shopping Center. TIF Bonds are meant to offer economic incentive for infrastructure development projects.

Before the vote, the Board discussed the TIF Bonds during executive session, citing economic development and potential litigation as their reasons for entering closed session.

The plan for the TIF bonds was approved in 2017, although there has been some question at recent Board meetings about whether or not the Board was legally obligated to issue the bonds.

The Board also continued budget discussions. The Board still needed to cut $52,000 from its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The Board had trouble cutting expenses, but managed to reduce the proposed budget by $32,000, leaving it $20,000 over budget. The Board will hold another budget workshop on Aug. 11 at 5 p.m.

In a separate matter, the Board discussed a request from a citizen about whether three urns can be buried within the same plot within a city cemetery with one tombstone or monument. The cemetery ordinance does not specify how many urns can be placed in a plot, only how many can be placed in a columbarium.

The matter was taken under advisement so the Board can get advice from the local funeral director about what the norms are at other cemeteries and can find out what other cities do in similar situations.

In other business the Board:

—Accepted the resignation of fulltime firefighter Michael Deidrich and approved hiring him for a part time firefighter position. The Board also approved hiring Ronald “Joey” Reynolds as a part time firefighter and adding Logan Brady to the volunteer firefighter roster. The Board also accepted the resignation of part time police officer Joshua Smith.

—Approved allowing the NAACP to use the Town Green for an event where school kids and parents can pick up free school supplies on Aug. 29 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The next regular meeting will be Aug. 19, at 5 p.m.